Contributing Editors

Texas Entrepreneur Uses Economic Development Grant to Fund His New Storage Business

by Holly Robinson September 8, 2010 8:46 AM
Gonzales, Texas entrepreneur Henry Schmidt must have seemed like a poster child for a small business loan program or an economic development grant program. Schmidt had many years of business experience under his belt, working as a sales manager for used oil collection company Midstate Environmental Services. Then, like many men and women who have spent enough time working for other people, he decided that he would like to start his own business. He looked around and realized that the Texas self storage industry was ripe for expansion.

What Schmidt didn’t realize at first was that he qualified for a grant program designed to stimulate economic development and encourage the development of small businesses. Many such small economic development grant programs exist at the state and local level in different states, but entrepreneurs are not always aware of programs that they may qualify for. Schmidt wound up receiving a $25,000 economic development grant in addition to his loan, and used it to buy two self storage facilities. The facilities were side by side, so Schmidt put a security fence around both and made them one business -- Apache Storage. Apache opened its doors for business in July. [More]

Could “Cash for Crude” Save the Gulf Coast Fishing Industry, Boating Businesses, and Marinas?

by Kim Kilpatrick July 8, 2010 4:42 PM
Could the BP oil spill be cleaned up faster if BP buys back its own spilled oil from fishermen and other boat owners along the Gulf Coast? American Geographical Society President Jerome Dobson thinks so. Dobson has come up with a unique solution for the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup. Dobson’s plan, which some are calling “cash for crude,” calls for BP to buy back recovered oil, giving fishermen, recreational boaters, and other boat owners a chance to get involved in in the BP oil spill containment.

Dobson’s plan calls for BP to buy back its oil at a price that will encourage out-of-work fishermen, recreational boaters, and other boat owners to go out, skim oil off the surface of the sea, and bring it back to port -- safely contained. Such a plan could provide out-of-work fishermen, seasonal tourist industry workers, and other boat owners with much needed income to replace some of what they have lost to the oil spill. It would also have a spillover (no pun intended) effect on related businesses, such as boat storage facilities and marinas, and would stimulate local economies along the Gulf Coast. [More]

Families Put Valuables in Storage to Prepare for Hurricane Season

by John Stevens May 25, 2010 12:14 PM
National Hurricane Preparedness Week begins today, and a storm that could become a hurricane has already been spotted, 500 miles (804 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is not yet strong enough to have been given a name, and it has only a 30 percent, or medium, chance of starting to rotate. The first Atlantic storm that begins to rotate will be called Alex. The tropical storms and hurricanes that follow it will be named as follows: Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie, and Walter.

The storm is not expected to pass over the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

Although this week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, meteorologists do not really expect any severe storms to develop until the end of July. Hurricane season itself officially starts on June 1. [More]

Texas Marina Forced to Move Boat Storage Facility

by Tony Gonzalez April 19, 2010 2:32 PM
A marina in Freeport, Texas, will have to move part of its drystack boat storage facility, because the storage building sticks out onto land that has been earmarked for use by the state highway department. The boat storage building encroaches 22 feet onto land that will be used to construct the new Pine Street bridge. Freeport will have to spend $347,510 to move the offending section of the building.

Although the move will be expensive, members of the Freeport Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) were pleased with the estimate, saying that it would cost about $100,000 less than they expected. Despite their pleasure at the lower estimate, FEDC members are still not certain how they will pay for the relocation. [More]

Florida Town Debates Possibility of Town-Owned Storage for RVs and Boats

by Kim Kilpatrick April 16, 2010 11:13 AM
Residents of Shalimar, a town on Florida's Emerald Coast, are debating a proposal to have the town of Shalimar build its own RV and boat storage yard. The issue was discussed at a Town Commission meeting on Tuesday. But the commission did not make a final decision about the boat yard because one member was absent and the members who were present were split fairly evenly on the subject. [More]

Boat, RV Storage Rules Changing in Some Cities

by Holly Robinson March 23, 2010 4:01 PM
If you need to store a boat or an RV, it is wise to check with your municipality to find out the most current rules on boat or RV storage. In some cities across the nation, city councils and village trustees are changing the rules. Many self-storage facilities will accept vehicles for storage, giving boat and RV owners another option if they live in an area that prohibits outdoor storage of large vehicles. [More]